Wednesday marks the halfway point of camp - already! Right after breakfast we all took a train from Felton to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for lunch and bowling. This is a highlight for many of the campers and kids. The kids had fun waving to cars and pointing out different sights as we took the train and later the campers either took a walk down the beach or went bowling. Also, ice cream!
After the Grace staff and helpers prepared dinner (burgers!), Ted taught a lesson on the gospel. He reviewed previous lessons by Pastor Rick and Teddy who shared that God is the Creator and that God created man in His image.
Ted continued the gospel message and focused on the proper response to the gospel - repentance and faith. He highlighted that repentance is not just feeling bad for sin or even turning from one sin to another sin, but it is a turning away from sin and a turning to Christ. Carrie and Danielle acted out a scene involving repentance from stealing money, sorrow for sin, and seeking forgiveness. Ted also used an example of walking along the rim of a fire pit, with the help of another person, as an illustration to demonstrate that it matters who you put your faith in. If a child was helping you balance along the rim, you'd surely get burned, but if an adult helped you balance, you'd be able to make it all the way around. In the same way, it matters who we put our faith in for salvation. Christ is our only hope from sin and death, and we must put our faith in him, for every aspect of our lives. Repentance and faith are both proper responses for salvation!
For me, hearing the campers interact and respond to Ted's questions during the message helped to emphasize that whether we have special needs or we're typically functioning, the gospel is for all of us, because our fundamental problem is sin and every one of us needs Christ. It was encouraging and humbling to think this is the same good news we're studying together this summer as a church.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers that we would be faithful to lovingly proclaim the good news to the campers as we continue to get to know them and talk with them. Please also pray that we would rely on the Holy Spirit's work and not our own ideas or volition. Lastly, sometimes at the second half of the week fatigue for some campers may set in and sin could come out in different ways. Please pray for hearts that would seek Christ, not only for salvation, but in every thing!